CCM Presidential candidate, Dr John Magufuli has implored Tanzanians to vote for leaders who are capable of moving ahead the country’s development agenda and whose political parties have prepared strong manifesto that focuses on resolving people's problems.
Addressing Karatu District residents yesterday at Mnadani grounds, Dr Magufuli also asked Tanzanians to vote for CCM candidates to end the 25- year dominance of the opposition in the area.
Dr Magufuli told voters that for 25 years, the constituency had been under the opposition and that since they lacked development agenda, it has been difficult for the government to understand their needs.
He said it is high time they made the right decision by voting CCM candidates for member of parliament and councillor posts.
"It has been difficult for my government in the past five years to penetrate in this constituency, you lacked strong and committed representatives to speak on your behalf," said Dr Magufuli.
The incumbent Head of State said Karatu has been lagging behind because it lacked focused representatives, especially after Dr Wilbrod Slaa stepped down.
Dr Magufuli praised Dr Slaa, who is currently the ambassador of Tanzania to Sweden, saying since the establishment of multiparty politics in Tanzania, the former Karatu MP stands tall as the best opposition leader Tanzania has ever had.
He said the former secretary general for Chadema and presidential candidate is remembered for his vision and patriotic spirit in serving Karatu and his country in general.
Dr Magufuli said when Dr Slaa was the MP for Karatu, he always pushed development agendas in the parliament. He said his arguments were based on improving people's lives and ensure there are good relationship between his constituency and the government.
"When I was a minister back then, Dr Slaa was always pushing the government to build Mto wa Mbu-Karatu road, which was in a very bad shape in those years. He was the best MP," he said.
According to Dr Magufuli, whenever the government asked for cash to build the road, it was facing difficulties from donors and other people who said the road was leading to national parks, therefore there was no need to build it at tarmac level.
He said it was Dr Slaa who insisted on constructing the road and later on former president, the late President Benjamin Mkapa managed to get funds that enabled the construction of the road, which is now a major link between Karatu and other districts.
Dr Magufuli added that since Dr Slaa was committed to serve the public, he decided to stay away from the opposition after realising their bad moves.
"He was not ready to participate in unclear businesses, a factor that prompted him to step aside before I appointed him to represent Tanzania abroad because I knew him very well," he noted.
He added: “He is a capable leader and he has true love for his country, he was different from other opposition leaders who do not care much about national interests."
However, Dr Magufuli told voters who flocked the grounds that apart from poor leadership the constituency experienced, especially in post Slaa era, his government managed to execute a number of projects since he believes in development for all.
He said in the past five years, the government constructed a district hospital, two health centres and expanded one health centre by building two wards for women and men.
He said the government also renovated and expanded dispensaries. Also, the budget for buying medicines increased from 131m/- to 450m/- annually.
On education, the government spent 7.4bn/- on offering free education for students in both primary and secondary schools in the district. Also 208 classrooms and 84 teacher's houses were constructed and over 4000 desks were bought.
On electricity, Dr Magufuli said 47 villages out of 57 were connected with electricity. “We have remained with only 10 villages and we’re going to connect them soon after election," he noted.
He also promised to resolve over ten challenges that were highlighted by the residents. He asked voters to vote for CCM candidates so that it can be easy for him, if re-elected in the forthcoming General Election, to implement various development programmes in the area.